Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Wednesday 04/23/14

Vermont Lawmakers Pass Biotech Labeling Legislation

Vermont will become the first state to actually require labeling of foods with ingredients from biotech (GMO) crops.

The Vermont House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill on Wednesday despite warnings of litigation from major food companies. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, tweeted, "The Leg. Has spoken. (Vermonters) deserve to know what is in their food. I agree and look forward to signing the #GMO labeling bill into law."

Vermont Public Radio posted a more detailed statement from Shumlin, who noted there will be people out there wanting to derail the law. "But I believe this bill is the right thing to do and will gain momentum elsewhere after our action here in Vermont. Farming and agriculture are important aspects of Vermont's history, culture and economy. In this tradition, Vermont has led the local food movement that is better connecting people nationwide with the food they eat. It makes sense that we are again leading the nation in this important step forward."

Critics of biotechnology praised the bill and took to social media to rejoice.

Vermont's law would go into effect in July 2016.

Both Connecticut and Main have both passed similar laws but they have provisions putting enforcement on hold until neighboring states adopt similar measures. Similar bills on biotech labeling have been introduced this year in more than 20 states.

Earlier this month, a bill in Congress was introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and four other lawmakers that would block state laws on food labeling for foods with ingredients from biotech crops unless the FDA concludes there is some sort of health risk with the food. Several major agricultural groups and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have all lined up in support of the bill.

Vermont Public Radio article: http://www.ucsusa.org/…

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 4:48PM CDT 04/23/14 by Chris Clayton
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